How to Stay in the LDS Church After Becoming Disaffected John P. Dehlin & Friends August 8, 2007
We are not advocating disobedience This is oriented towards those who need radical solutions to keep from leaving the church completely
Potential Topics to Cover • Why leave? • Why stay? • Truth behind the myths • Go slowly • How the church IS true • Understanding • Moving beyond the binary world view • On organizations • Faith is A-OK • Unplugging • Being a buffet Mormon • Temple recommend • It’s about the people • Raising children • Physician, heal thyself • Coping w/ Sundays • Supplementing spirituality • Fowler’s “Stages of Faith” • Final thoughts • Places for support
Why Leave? • Never received a satisfactory witness • Emotion vs. spirit • Inspirational non-Mormons • Doing the numbers • LDS church history • The marginalized • Abused in some way • Not being edified / bored
“Religion is a realization, not talk, not doctrine, nor theories.However beautiful these may be.Religion is being and becoming, not hearing and acknowledging.It is not an intellectual ascent;But the transformation of one’s whole life.”Swami Vivekandanda
Hot, Cold or Spew (even self-spew)
Why Stay? The baby and bathwater analogy
Why Stay? • The “evolution” argument • Reinforcement of spirituality • Culture/identity • Community • Family • Children • Clean living • Undeniable good • Best there is? • Much of the doctrine • Make it better -- much pain to assuage • A place to serve • The hymns ROCK!!!!
Why Stay? The home schooling analogy
What I’m not saying…. That you can’t find this stuff outside, or that Mormons have a monopoly on any of this stuff
What I’m not saying…. No one should leave, and all will find misery
“Myth is what possibly never was,but always will be.” Joseph Campbell?
The truth behind the “myths” Even if you were a 100% non-believer, consider the value behind messages like…. • “You are a child of God with divine worth” • Prayer • Faith • Baptism • Repentance • Revelation • Service • Priesthood power • Authority/hierarchy • “Traditional families” • Gender-based roles • Genealogy • Personal purity • Scripture study • Lay clergy • Tithing • Family Home Evening • Home teaching
The truth behind the warnings about leaving Many do find sadness on the other end
Go slowly • Don’t burn bridges • Be careful who you talk to • Don’t try to “shock” or “enlighten” people • Where will go you? Is another church, or no church really the solution? • Many regret having left, or ultimately come back
Accepting Imperfection • You • Your family • Your work • Your country • The world“Is it a Mormon problem, or a human problem?”
Lower your expectations • The church • Church leadership • Members • Ward experience • History
Understanding the “One True Church” Position • Successful, growing churches make absolute truth claims • The brethren sincerely believe this • Follow the Reorganized LDS Church’s model? • Learn to move past the binary world view. This is dangerous in or out of the church.
Seek to understand Why are people acting the way they are acting?
Understanding the brethren’s dilemma • Raised devout • Mission, early marriage, work • Little time to dig deep • Sincerely believe • Past attempts at openness backfired • Undermining their own authority • Managing for the many, not the few
Understanding the root causes of orthodoxy in family/friends • Fear • Death of family • Depression • Addiction • Divorce The santa claus analagy
Common Courtesy, Good Manners “Treat devout LDS members at least as courteous as you would members of other faiths”
“Why the church is as true as the gospel” Eugene England
“That I would be good” Alanis Morissette
“That I would be good” That I would be good even if I did nothing That I would be good even if I got the thumbs down That I would be good if I got and stayed sick That I would be good even if I gained ten pounds
“That I would be good” That I would be fine even even if I went bankrupt That I would be good if I lost my hair and my youth That I would be great if I was no longer queen That I would be grand if I was not all knowing
“That I would be good” That I would be loved even when I numb myself That I would be good even when I am overwhelmed That I would be loved even when I was fuming That I would be good even if I was clingy
“That I would be good” That I would be good even if I lost sanity That I would be good Whether with or without you
On being a “Buffet Mormon” • Everyone falls short. Everyone. • Instead of get depressed, embrace this moniker. • I’m NOT encouraging this approach. • However, if push comes to shove….
If you are at the end of your rope… • Tithing • Sunday meetings • Callings • Temple • Doctrine • Temple attendance • Scripture reading
Temple Recommend • Never lie or deceive • There will always be some disconnect between what the questioner and the answerer mean • Understanding the setup: • Intentionally vague questions • No additional questions allowed • You are the judge • Nobody’s perfect • Results may vary
Dealing with the main questions • God • Jesus • Restoration • Gordon B. Hinckley as prophet • Affiliation with anti-Mormon groups • Word of wisdom • Tithing
It’s all about the people “one one one” relationships
Seek out like-minded folk Inactives, Quiet
Sometimes it’s the culture, not the leadership • 5,000,000 active members • International church, multi-language • Hard to steer a very large ship • Focus on the sensible, reasonable folks • Ignore the more vocal, dogmatic ones • Better yet, learn to love them
Raising Children • Be specific about why you go • De-program as necessary (but constructively) • Vengeful God • “One trueness” • Infallibility of leaders • “Better than non-LDS” • Bigoted God • Connections between race and cursings, homosexuality • Science and religion • Focus on the positive
Always protect yourself and your loved ones (Not just a church thing)
Physician…heal thyself. Whatever weakness or anger you retain, will only follow you
Supplement for spirituality • Good books • Nature • Family time • Meaningful friends • Exercise • Small groups
Fowler’s Stages of Faith Seek to become a “Level 5”